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Read: Recipes

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Pallas Erdrich

Hot and Tangy Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Serves 6 to 8.

Note: Roasting the Brussels sprouts sweetens and caramelizes their flavor and gives them a toasty, crunchy edge. You can clean and cut the Brussels sprouts a day before, then roast them an hour or two ahead. They are delicious served hot, warm or at room temperature. Be warned that it’s tempting to eat them with your fingers as they come out of the oven, so add a few extra to the pan just for snacking. From Beth Dooley.

• 3 to 4 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half

• 2 to 3 tbsp. olive or sunflower oil

• Coarse salt

• 1 tbsp. fresh lemon zest

• 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

• Pinch red pepper flakes

• Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste



Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts and the oil. Spread out on a baking sheet so the vegetables don’t touch. Sprinkle liberally with the salt. Roast until the sprouts are dark around the edges, about 20 to 25 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.

Remove the sprouts from the oven and turn into a serving dish. Toss with the lemon zest, lemon juice and pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cranberry, Orange AND Gingered Sweet Potato Wedges

Serves 8.

Note: Our local farmers are growing a wider variety of sweet potatoes each year. Some taste brown-sugary sweet, while others have a mild chestnut flavor. Here, cranberries roast along in the pan before they’re tossed with orange and fresh ginger for tang and heat. You can roast these ahead, store in the refrigerator, and reheat them to serve warm or at room temperature. 

• 4 medium sweet potatoes (about 4 lb. total)

• 3 to 4 tbsp. sunflower or vegetable oil

• 2 tsp. ground coriander

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 1/2 c. fresh cranberries

• 2 tbsp. sugar

• 2 tsp. grated orange zest

• 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger

• 2 tbsp. fresh orange juice, or more to taste

• Pinch red pepper flakes


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash the sweet potatoes but do not peel. Cut the potatoes lengthwise in half horizontally. Cut again into 1/2-inch thick slices and then cut into 3 to 4 inch- spears. Brush the pieces with the oil and place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with a little salt and coriander. Scatter the cranberries overall. Roast until the wedges are tender and golden brown, about 25 minutes, turning the spears occasionally with a spatula so they don’t stick.

Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with the sugar, orange zest and ginger. Return to the oven so that the sugar creates a light glaze, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle the orange juice over the sweet potatoes, and season to taste with salt, pepper and red pepper.

Roasted Squash with Warm Spices and Lime

Serves 8 to 10.

Note: You can make this entire dish ahead, store it covered in the refrigerator, and reheat it before serving warm or at room temperature. Leftovers are great when simmered with stock then puréed with a little cream for warming soup. I prefer butternut squash for this recipe. It’s the easiest to peel, and its flavor is nutty and sweet. From Beth Dooley.

• 2 medium butternut squash (about 4 lb.)

• 3 to 4 tbsp. sunflower or vegetable oil

• 2 tsp. grated nutmeg

• 1 tsp. ground cardamom

• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

• Pinch red pepper flakes

• 2 to 3 tbsp. fresh lime juice

• Salt and freshly ground pepper

• 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel, seed and cut the squash into 2-inch pieces. Turn into a large bowl and toss with the oil.

In a small bowl, whisk together the nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon and red pepper flakes, add to the squash and toss to coat. Spread the squash out on a baking sheet and roast until it’s lightly browned along the edges and tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove and turn onto a serving bowl and drizzle with the fresh lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with the parsley.

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage AND Apples

Serves 8 to 10.

Note: To keep the cabbage bright and crunchy, add the vinegar after it’s been lightly cooked. This can be made a day ahead, stored in the refrigerator and then gently reheated before serving warm or at room temperature. From Beth Dooley.

• 1 tbsp. sunflower or vegetable oil

• 2 shallots, peeled and chopped

• 1 medium head red cabbage, trimmed and cut into 2-in. pieces

• 2 large apples, cored, seeded and cut into 2-in. pieces

• 1/4 c. fresh apple cider

• 2 to 4 tbsp. vinegar, to taste

• 1 to 2 tbsp. maple syrup, to taste

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


In a large deep pot, heat the oil and add the shallots; cook until the shallots are translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cabbage, apples and cider, cover, and simmer until the cabbage is just tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and stir in the vinegar, maple syrup, and salt and pepper to taste.


Originally Published by The Star Tribune